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Fold and Thrust Belts

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The Arctic Ocean occupies a unique tectonic setting as a small, confined ocean between two much larger oceans - the subducting Pacific margin and the opening North Atlantic. Unlike many of the world's oceans, evidence on both timing and geometry is poor, and major elements of the plate tectonic evolution are still "up for grabs". The Arctic has experienced significant plate motion from Cretaceous to present, and because of the ambiguities in the oceanic signature, resolving the most likely kinematic history is critical in understanding paleogeography and hence reservoir and source distribution. I will show a 3-stage kinematic model which, while not a unique solution, seems to best satisfy the known constraints.

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Some of the world’s most spectacular and geologically fascinating sights will be showcased in nine field trips planned in conjunction with September’s AAPG-SEG International Conference and Exhibition (ACE) in Melbourne, Australia, Sept. 13-16.
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Since the introduction of Electrical Borehole Images over twenty years ago many very useful applications have been developed for this data. These include applications, which range from handpicked bed dips to fracture analysis, from thin-bedded pay determination to measuring vugular porosity, from fault geometry determination to facies analysis. These applications are made possible because of the high resolution provided by these images. The images provide the means to perform detailed high-resolution reservoir characterization at the borehole. This presentation will concentrate on structural aspects of borehole image interpretation. Fault and fold examples from different basins across the USA will be examined with examples from around different US Basins.

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Take a first hand look at the basic working tools to explore and develop hydrocarbons in salt basins. This introduction to salt tectonics is intended for geoscientists, engineers, and managers who need review or update on this constantly evolving field. The course is appropriate for those working in any salt basin globally and assumes abasic familiarity with structural geology concepts and terminology

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Participants will examine illustrative outcrops of thrusts, fault-related folds, stratal architectures and facies of depositional systems affected by growing structures, which are good analogues for hydrocarbon reservoirs. Objectives include interpreting complex thrust structures, identifying and understanding strain and fracture systems in fold-thrust belts, and analyzing patterns of growth strata in areas with synsedimentary folding.

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We use three-dimensional seismic reflection data and new map-based structural restoration methods to define the displacement history and characteristics of a series of tear faults in the deep-water Niger Delta. Deformation in the deep-water Niger Delta is focused mostly within two fold-and-thrust belts that accommodate downdip shortening produced by updip extension on the continental shelf. This shortening is accommodated by a series of thrust sheets that are locally cut by strike-slip faults. Through seismic mapping and interpretation, we resolve these strike-slip faults to be tear faults that share a common detachment level with the thrust faults. Acting in conjunction, these structures have accommodated a north –south gradient in westward-directed shortening. We apply a map-based restoration technique implemented in Gocad to restore an upper stratigraphic horizon of the late Oligocene and use this analysis to calculate slip profiles along the strike-slip faults. The slip magnitudes and directions change abruptly along the lengths of the tear faults as they interact with numerous thrust sheets. The discontinuous nature of these slip profiles reflects the manner in which they have accommodated differential movement between the footwall and hanging-wall blocks of the thrust sheets. In cases for which the relationship between a strike-slip fault and multiple thrust faults is unclear, the recognition of this type of slip profile may distinguish thin-skinned tear faults from more conventional deep-seated, throughgoing strike-slip faults.
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The Molasse Basin represents the northern foreland basin of the Alps. After decades of exploration, it is considered to be mature in terms of hydrocarbon exploration. However, geological evolution and hydrocarbon potential of its imbricated southernmost part (Molasse fold and thrust belt) are still poorly understood. In this study, structural and petroleum systems models are integrated to explore the hydrocarbon potential of the Perwang imbricates in the western part of the Austrian Molasse Basin.

The structural model shows that total tectonic shortening in the modeled north–south section is at least 32.3 km (20.1 mi) and provides a realistic input for the petroleum systems model. Formation temperatures show present-day heat flows decreasing toward the south from 60 to 41 mW/m2. Maturity data indicate very low paleoheat flows decreasing southward from 43 to 28 mW/m2. The higher present-day heat flow probably indicates an increase in heat flow during the Pliocene and Pleistocene.

Apart from oil generated below the imbricated zone and captured in autochthonous Molasse rocks in the foreland area, oil stains in the Perwang imbricates and oil-source rock correlations argue for a second migration system based on hydrocarbon generation inside the imbricates. This assumption is supported by the models presented in this study. However, the model-derived low transformation ratios (lt20%) indicate a charge risk. In addition, the success for future exploration strongly depends on the existence of migration conduits along the thrust planes during charge and on potential traps retaining their integrity during recent basin uplift.

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We present a method of using fault displacement-distance profiles to distinguish fault-bend, shear fault-bend, and fault-propagation folds, and use these insights to guide balanced and retrodeformable interpretations of these structures. We first describe the displacement profiles associated with different end-member fault-related folding models, then provide examples of structures that are consistent with these model-based predictions. Natural examples are imaged in high-resolution two- and three dimensional seismic reflection data sets from the Niger Delta, Sichuan Basin, Sierras Pampeanas, and Cascadia to record variations in displacement with distance updip along faults (termed displacement-distance profiles). Fault-bend folds exhibit constant displacement along fault segments and changes in displacement associated with bends in faults, shear fault-bend folds demonstrate an increase in displacement through the shearing interval, and fault-propagation folds exhibit decreasing displacement toward the fault tip. More complex structures are then investigated using this method, demonstrating that displacement-distance profiles can be used to provide insight into structures that involve multiple fault-related folding processes or have changed kinematic behavior over time. These interpretations are supported by comparison with the kinematics inferred from the geometry of growth strata overlying these structures. Collectively, these analyses illustrate that the displacement-distance approach can provide valuable insights into the styles of fault-related folding.

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This story, whose outcome was an important milestone for Total’s exploration at the time of discovery, can be seen as complementary to the Mahakam success story, described in the September 2011 Historical Highlights column.

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In-Person Training
Bakersfield California United States 13 May, 2016 13 May, 2016 28238 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/forum-psaapg2016-playmaker-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true Geochemistry and Basin Modeling, Source Rock, Engineering, Development and Operations, Coring, Infill Drilling, Production, Primary Recovery, Secondary Recovery, Tertiary Recovery, Thermal Recovery Processes, Petroleum Systems, Geophysics, Seismic, Clastics, Sedimentology and Stratigraphy, Conventional Sandstones, Deepwater Turbidites, Marine, Structure, Compressional Systems, Fold and Thrust Belts, Tectonics (General), Stratigraphic Traps, Structural Traps
Bakersfield, California, United States
13 May 2016

The Playmaker Forum will be a great way to learn more about our fascinating Pacific Section petroleum provinces, facilitate industry networking, and visit with friends and colleagues.

Calgary Alberta Canada 23 June, 2016 29 June, 2016 149 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/fs-Seismic-Interpretation-in-Fold-and-Thrust-Belts.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true Structure, Fold and Thrust Belts, Compressional Systems, Geophysics, Seismic, Engineering, Reservoir Characterization
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
23-29 June 2016
This structural field course in the Front Ranges of the Canadian Rockies focuses on relating outcrop to seismic expressions of compressive structural styles that are common in fold-and-thrust belts and deepwater passive margins (toe thrust belts) worldwide. Participants will recognize common types of structures in fold-and-thrust belts, apply fault-related folding concepts to interpret these structures, identify petroleum traps and their major structural risk elements, and recognize similarities between styles of trap and reservoir-scale deformation.
Calgary Alberta Canada 23 June, 2016 23 June, 2016 23965 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/ACE-2016-FT-09-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true Field Trips, Conventions, Post-Convention, Structure, Fold and Thrust Belts
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
23 June 2016

The Foothills and Front Ranges of the Alberta Thrust Belt are perhaps the most extensively studied compressional petroleum province on earth. Within this system, thick sheets of Paleozoic carbonate strata were thrust progressively eastward into Mesozoic and Tertiary clastic assemblages of the developing Alberta Basin. The resulting geology forms a superb laboratory to view and analyze the components of thrust belt architecture and the development of petroleum systems in compressional settings.

Calgary Alberta Canada 23 June, 2016 25 June, 2016 23971 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/Field Trip 12 - CSPG Structural Geology.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true Field Trips, Conventions, Post-Convention, Structure, Fold and Thrust Belts
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
23-25 June 2016

This three-day trip starts and ends in Calgary and presents an overview of a well-exposed and well-studied segment of a compressional fold-thrust belt with significant hydrocarbon reserves. The focus of the trip is to observe the structural setting and surface expressions of several large hydrocarbon fields in the Foothills, complemented by excellent seismic-scale examples of fold-thrust structures exposed in the Front Ranges, developed and exposed in the same gross stratigraphic sequence that hosts the hydrocarbon fields in the subsurface.

Naples Italy 01 October, 2016 07 October, 2016 36 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/fs-carb-complex-carbonate-reservoirs-sedimentation.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true Sedimentology and Stratigraphy, Carbonates, Structure, Fold and Thrust Belts, Engineering, Reservoir Characterization, Carbonate Platforms
Naples, Italy
1-7 October 2016

The main part of the field seminar will focus on the description of the fractured carbonates and the extrapolation from the outcrop observations to the subsurface for building geologically plausible reservoir models.

Online Training
14 February, 3000 14 February, 3000 7817 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-generic-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
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